Okay, so you didn’t exactly relish the prospect of eating bugs when I introduced you to Ento’s avant-garde gourmet


Photo courtesy of Ento




could be heard far and wide.

But, here I am, bringing up bugs again.

Why, MJ? Why???

Hmmm … how do I put this delicately?

Crickets are an up-and-coming cuisine (yes, that IS a cricket tostado below).


Photo courtesy of Thrillist; http://www.thrillist.com/eat/new-york/nolita/10012/antojeria-la-popular#slide=2?slide=2

Better you should hear it from me, dear heart, than from strangers. We can work together to get our heads (appetites?) around this novel notion—I haven’t actually eaten crickets yet, either.

But my mind is open, and here’s why.

The impetus to eat insects is not merely based on curiosity or shock value. We’re talking about a much more dire motivation. As we struggle to feed this populous planet, we all know meat is incredibly costly in terms of energy consumption and environmental impact (read more on that topic here).


Photo by Jeff Vanuga, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, via Wikimedia Commons

While you know that I am not fundamentally opposed to meat farming, I do believe that it’s difficult to accomplish it sustainably on a super-size scale.

‘Nuff said.

This dilemma drives us to explore new frontiers of food and find alternative sources of protein.

So, you’re wondering, why crickets? Isn’t soy a perfectly suitable solution?


Tofu cooked Chinese style, Beijing, China. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons; Fuzheado

Here’s another article that addresses the soy situation and why this popular vegetable can cause problems when used to provide protein in our diets.

So, we find ourselves at the doorstep of Exo.

Unlike Ento’s sushi-esque creations, Exo is focusing on producing protein bars with cricket flour. Specifically, each bar is made up of 20 percent roasted cricket flour and 80 percent yum (dates, cacao, almond butter, and coconut).


Photo courtesy of Exo

“Most people say, ‘I can’t even taste the crickets!'” says Exo co-founder Gabi Lewis. “As if they would know what it tastes like if they could taste the crickets.”


Lewis and his partner-in-protein, Greg Sweitz, tracked down an esteemed chef in the UK who signed on to render the bars scrumptious and is also working on future recipes.

“Ultimately, we’re just creating a very healthy, sustainable, and cheap protein source. We can make shakes, bread, pancakes, or baking products. It’s a protein powder that you can use for anything,” Lewis explains.

In other parts of the world, people don’t cringe when they consider crunching on crickets.


Photo by Thomas Schoch via Wikimedia Commons

Heck, even the actress Salma Hayek extolls the practice:

On The Late Show with David Letterman a couple of years ago, Salma introduced a few more insect favorites, saying, “These little ants fried are amazing with a little guacamole. And the worms, there are many different recipes for those. The little grasshoppers have a smoky flavor to them. It’s the way they cook them, and it’s really good.”


And, hey, Exo’s protein bars are far less … ah … leggy.

“The protein bar looks very normal. There are no insect fragments, just a finely ground power,” assures Lewis. “It’s amazing how quickly people get over that initial disgust response. The trick is getting them to try it in the first place.”

Now that you’re toying with the idea (if Salma Hayek does it, so can I!),


Photo by Georges Biard via Wikimedia Commons

consider this:


Oh, yeah, I mean it.

As Exo is preparing for a full-fledged launch, it is facing a challenge with cricket supply. The company is currently working with cricket farmers in the U.S. who supply reptile food for pet owners and bait for fishing outfits, but human consumption is a whole new game.

So far, there are no certified organic cricket producers out there.

Now, there’s a fabulous farmgirl niche: exo-preneur!

In the meantime, Exo is asking for your support via their Kickstarter campaign. Pledge $25, and you’ll get a half dozen bars ($40 will win you a full dozen).

As your mother used to say, “You don’t have to like it; you just have to try it.”


Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Hmmmmm, maybe I could talk myself into cricket granola bars. I like the theory and the sustainability of it all but, I gotta say that the shock factor will be huge for me!!

    Hello from the Arctic Ocean along the northern most tip of Norway! Can I just say thank God for Dramamine? It is cold and stormy here and we have been pitching to and for for the past 16 hours like a cork !! Yep, this FarmGirl on the Loose wishes she were in a farmwagon on THE GROUND! It is beautiful and wild up here and extremely remote. We are on a cargo ship stopping off at these little teeny fishing villages here and there providing them with a lifeline to the rest of the world. People really live here which is pretty amazing considering the weather and difficulty. The people on the boat say tomorrow weather is supposed to be better. I am praying they are right! One thing for sure, I know without reservation I was not ever cut out to be a fisherman on the seas!!

  2. karlyne says:

    I think the wiggly-looking legs are what make me ewwww at chrickets. Ground up in flour? Maybe….

    Wow! Winnie, you are really doing some traveling! I hope the weather cooperates for you. I’ve always wanted to see Norway, but maybe from land?

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